Saturday, March 14, 2009



The shape of experience

is always a woman first.

There’s an allure,

a come-on by life

that is spiritually-sexual,

a betrayal of the old dilemma

you cling to like salvage

after a shipwreck

as if that was all

that was keeping you afloat.

You call it hanging on to yourself

but all you’re doing

is clutching at a board like a wave

to keep from drowning in your own mirage.

And there’s life,

an island, a tide, a shore

smothered in sirens

enticing you to let go

like a note or a bird

into your own music,

to disobey your own misery,

to stop pressing that voodoo doll

you’ve horned with your own features

against your heart

like the only surviving child

of a toxic eclipse

you’re raising like a king

among swineherds,

the royal seal stamped in dung.

Let go. Life transcends itself

by inclusion

so nothing can ever be lost

or gained.

Let go. Your shining

isn’t diminished by the occlusion

and the light isn’t stained

by oilslicks in the telescope.

Stop trying to court experience

by taking your own sad advice.

Let go. Elope.




You’ve got to look under

your own reflection sometime

like the lucid scar of the moon

to see what’s healing

and why you wear your face

like a poultice

to draw the infection out,

what’s behind that gash of a smile

that must taste like acid on your lips.

Can you see

what’s funny about the sage,

what’s serious about the fool?

Are you one of the rubies

or a sapphire of the blood?

There are ways of knowing

that are like old cups

with cracks in them

hanging in the cupboards

that shepherd the wines of life

into the same old creekbeds

that have sloughed their flowing like skin,

like snakes and grapes.

You should learn

to drink your reflection

from your own fathomless hands

until you drown in it,

until you can look back up at it

from the bottom

and realize

how the water-lilies

wire their constellations in series

and weave their myths from the mud.

It’s a lie that a reflection has no depths

or that the depths don’t have a reflection.

Everything here is the likeness

of everything else

and it isn’t only the water

but sometimes the desert

that’s the mirage.

Haven’t you ever

looked into your own face

and known it wasn’t you

who was looking back

and that maybe millions of people

with eyes as many

as stars in the darkness

were peering through your face

like wine through a crack in a cup?

Besides, it’s only fair,

after all the seeing

they do for me,

I let my eyes check out

what they might be

and turn the light around

like salmon called from the sea.

And I don’t worry

too much about meaning.

Meanings are born of themselves

and like waves

there’s no lack of them

and if you can understand

what you’ve experienced

then you’re not living intensely enough.